Posts Tagged With: Outdoors

New Book Information Available

We have recently made new information available regarding our upcoming book “Tales From The AT”.  The new section is titled, “About The Author“.  We hope you will check this out at your next opportunity.

As always, Happy Hiking!

Categories: Appalachian Trail, Backpacking, Books, Camping, Family, Hiking, Literature, Outdoors, Reading | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Experiences On The AT

Appalachian Services has temporarily suspended its hiker support services due to the death of an immediate family member who was integral to its proper operation.  In the interim we are attempting to complete a book we began compiling in 2014 chronicling hiker experiences on, and around, the Appalachian Trail.  For more information regarding this book, and/or to submit information regarding your own experiences on the AT, please go to https://TalesFromTheAT.wordpress.com.

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Discounts – Update

Our “Discounts” page has been updated with two new discounts added.  Please click HERE for more information.

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Seasonal Perks

There’s one thing about my job that I like above all else.  That’s nature’s perks.  Each season holds its own wonders…

Spring floods my vision with limitless hues of green, from the fresh sprigs of grass to the vibrant leaves appearing on towering trees mixed with many colorful buds that seem to be shouting, “Come See!  I’m blooming!”.

Spring Dogwoods

Birds begin their chorus of chirps, animals such as bears and their cubs that had been in a state of *semi-hibernation during the winter begin exploring their surroundings, and freshly planted gardens hint at the bounty that will soon be found within.  Fresh and enticing scents are found everywhere. Flowers lining worn country lanes thick with mud from the spring rains emit their intoxicating scents, mountain valleys filled with new growth and lingering shadows beg to be explored, and deep, thick forests offer the promise of solitude far away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

*The Black Bears in the southern Appalachian Mountains do not hibernate like their relatives do in other areas.

Summer shares its expansive views of golden wheat fields, landscape dotted with tiny white clumps of Cotton down here in the South, and the shimmering blue waters of beckoning lakes and gurgling streams offer both refreshment and escape from the often times oppressive heat, not to mention the beauty of those elusive tropical getaways.

Road In Wheat Field

Cotton Field At Sunset

The days are long and the nights short, affording one the opportunity to spend hours exploring nature’s bounty.  Children, free from school for a time, enjoy running, playing, and making up their own adventures… adventures adults can only guess about or perhaps even reminisce about, recalling their own childhood dreams and fantasies.

Children Playing Outside

Autumn, Fall to many of us, holds a special place in my heart.  It’s the time of year I prefer to do my exploring, sometimes finding those hidden gems that make me wonder, “how did that get here?” or “what does that lead to?”.

Forest Doorway In Fall

It’s a time for sitting on the porch watching a new day being born, holding close a steaming hot cup of your favorite morning beverage. 

Sunrise From Porch

The mornings are brisk followed by warm afternoons that entice you to don the wind-breaker and taking a hike on remote trails partially obscured by fallen leaves, or drive along a quite waterway that reflects the beauty of the fall colors lining its banks.

Trail Footbridge

Fall Reflections

Chilly evenings are tailor-made for sitting beside the campfire or snuggled up in front of the fireplace, perhaps with that very special person in your life.

Blazing Campfire

Log Cabin Fireplace

It’s a time of celebrations and festivals; Halloween with excited children running about in their costumes all excited about trick-or-treating and the candy they’ll score, the fun perhaps tempered with a little fear of that “monster” between them and the neighbor’s front porch, their tiny hands clinching yours while their youthful voices are shakily pleading, “Come with me, I’m scared”. 

Halloween Decorations

Jack-O-Lanterns - Reduced

Fall festivals abound where strangers gather to play games, drink cider, and gaze at hand-made decorations, warming their hands over fires as they talk, joke, and become friends in the process.

Then there’s Thanksgiving.  It’s a time for families, a time of expressing thankfulness for those families (and friends) who are constantly there for us, a time to remember all the things we’ve been blessed with (especially for living in this great country, the U.S.A.), share enormous dinners with those closest to us, watch parades and children’s Thanksgiving specials on TV, and root for that favorite pro football team, hoping you’ll win a bet you really shouldn’t have made with your bud at the office or uncle Joe.

Thanksgiving Day Parade - Enlarged (1000 × 571)

Table At Thanksgiving

Charlie Brown - Snoopy

Dallas Cowboys Logo_Reduced (1000x562)

Go Cowboys!  Oh… sorry… I couldn’t help it.  😉

And that brings us to Winter, a season, for me, of mixed feelings.  I love that cold nip in the air as Fall changes to Winter, the chance of a beautiful snowfall that could come at any time, and the expectation of the joyful holiday season just weeks away.  I also feel the dread of frigid days that go on seemingly without end, ice storms that create havoc with the power system and rural roads, not to mention the salty brine used by the highway department that works its way into every nook and cranny of my vehicles.

Snowy Trees - Blue Sky

Roadway In Snow

I enjoy the thrill of coming home at the end of the day as I gaze upon the welcoming home, warm and bright with the glow of seasonal lights, the twinkling Christmas tree in the yard that only a few weeks before was “just another tree” to mow around, the beauty of a snowfall as it envelopes the house and the surrounding hillsides, sitting softly upon the branches and fence rails, its soft quietness muffling all sounds as if it was saying, “hush, it’s time to forget about your cares, time to be calm, quiet, and reflect upon the blessing of God’s wondrous creation laid out before you”.

Cabin In Winter

I love winter activities such as snowboarding, going on hay rides, and driving around looking at all the houses beautifully decorated for Christmas.  I enjoy shopping at the mall, looking for a “just right” gift for that oh-so-special someone, the glowing faces of children as they tell Santa what they would like for Christmas, or what they would like brother or sister to get for Christmas.  I enjoy spending time with family during the holidays, snuggling on the couch near the fireplace while enjoying a classic Christmas special on TV, and gazing out upon the snow-covered mountain sides while enjoying a steaming hot cup of chocolate as the sunset lights up the evening sky with golden hues.

Snowboarding 

Winter Sunset Over The River

I empathize with those who don’t have families or friends to enjoy the holidays with, the homeless, the veterans who have been shunned by people they thought were their friends because they did their patriotic duty and fought in an unpopular war…  the poor who are grateful to have just one hot meal a day, or a few sticks of firewood to heat their meager home… and especially those who have lost loved ones during the holiday season, or who have been diagnosed with a life threatening disease.

Help Homeless Veterans_Reduced (1000x500)

I empathize with all these people because at one time or another I have walked in all of these shoes.  It is but by the grace of God I have found my way through these situations.  I pray these people will find the same comfort, solace, and rescue I have, and I ask that you take a few moments to pray for them also.  Give to your local chapter of the Red Cross, a church benevolent ministry, or a humanitarian organization.  Volunteer to collect or hand out food for the needy.  Help build a house so a family can have a safe place to live away from the elements.  Don’t just feel sorry for these people, get out and do something to help.

Yes, this truly is a season of mixed emotions.  Thankfully Spring will roll around with its refreshing showers and beautiful sunrises causing all things to be refreshed and beautified once again.

Blue Ridge Mountains Sunrise

Categories: Appalachian Trail, Backpacking, Hiking | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Engraved By Christ

Here is a reblog of a wonderful post. I hope everyone enjoys reading it. 🙂

 

 

time 2 refuel

Last week as I went on a walk with my son through our neighborhood I pulled out my camera and started taking pictures of everything that caught my eye.  Lots of beautiful trees, flowers and built up piles of fallen leaves. Oh how I love the natural beauty.

As I looked down at the sidewalk something in the cement caught my eye. they were so small that I almost missed them, but there they were. An imprint of a leaf. Several of them actually, leaves no longer there but the imprints remained. How long had they been there? Who knows, could be years.  All I knew was that these leaves had once fallen at this precise place leaving their mark, proving their existence, leaving a lasting impression in stone. So I took a picture of this imprint as it got me thinking of my own.

leaf imprint

What lasting impression will I leave behind?  Years from now will…

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Availability Change

There have been 2 changes in our Holiday Closings.  Please click HERE to review our availability.

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How The Appalachian Trail Changed Who I Am

Reblogged from AshliLauryn . Original Post 10MAR2015.

I have heard a lot of people say that there isn’t much time for reflection during a thru hike. While I can somewhat agree with that, there is an undeniable shift in perception that comes along with an adventure that pushes you to your absolute mental and physical limits. The short amount of time that you do have to reflect adds up, and you begin to see the world anew…

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A bit of information on The Appalachian Trail

Contour & Whoopi

Map of the AT going through all 14 states. (Source: Wikipedia)

My hearing dog Whoopi and I are endeavoring to hike the 2,183+ mile trail next year to raise funds for Canine Companions for Independence. I’m sure that some would like a little bit of history about the Appalachian Trail (also known as the A.T.), so here goes!

(Source: TheAThiker.com)

The AT is one of the longest continuous footpaths in the world, and was conceived and started in the 1920’s by Benton MacKaye. It was completed by Myron Avery and the Civilian Conservation Corp by 1937. Today, the trail starts on Springer Mountain in Georgia and travels nearly 2,200 miles along the Appalachian mountains through 14 states to Mount Katahdin in Maine. The trail is marked by a single white 6 inch by 2″ white blaze that is painted at intervals all along the trail on trees, posts, and rocks.

It is estimated…

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GA – NC Severe Storm Damage

The recent winter storms have left the area from Springer Mountain, GA through Tellico Gap, NC and on to Newfound Gap in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with severe damage.  Trails are washed out and numerous trees have been uprooted.  The tops of trees have also been broken off.  These broken trees pose a special danger called “Widow Makers”, limbs or tree trunks hung up in another tree which can fall unpredictably upon hikers passing below.  Please exercise extreme caution while hiking in these areas.

Broken Tree Tops Near Springer Mountain

Tellico Gap Damage

Tellico Gap Damage

Downed Trees Near NOC Wesser, NC

Downed Trees Near NOC Wesser, NC

Downed Trees In Nantahala River Near NOC Wesser, NC

Downed Trees In Nantahala River Near NOC Wesser, NC

 

Categories: Appalachian Trail, Backpacking, Hiking | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

I wonder as I wander…

Write in Front of Me

…out under the sky.  No ceiling obscures my gaze of the heavens. There are no walls to shield me from wildlife. There I am witness to unfurling miles of forest. I tackle durable mountains, am lulled by rolling hills, and rest by springs of water. I am alive, in the wild, moving, breathing. My soul expands in the out-of-doors. Limits fall away even as summits rear themselves; they call, even as they provoke — “Are you up for the task?” I respond by embracing them with effort and sweat, slips and falls, muscle stretch and ache.  My recompense is in catching my breath, sleeping under the stars, being awed by the views.  Such endeavor brings reward — gratitude — and joy!

Merry Christmas to hikers and backpackers and lovers of the wild everywhere!

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Discounts

We are both proud of, and appreciate, the services provided by the Military, Law Enforcement, Public Safety/EMS, Scoutmasters (both male and female), and last, but certainly not least, Teachers/Instructors/Professors.  In order to show our gratitude we gladly offer shuttle rate discounts to those who are involved in any of the above fields of employment.  Simply let us know this when you email (if your email address does not reflect it) and we will apply the discount to your rate.  Should your email address not reflect one of the above fields of employment a work/government ID may be required.  We also applaud those who are pursuing “higher education”, so if you are a college or university student let us know, then show us your current/valid student ID at the time of your shuttle.

Everyone enjoys a discount even if they don’t “fit” any of the above categories, right? Well,there are two other ways to get a discount on your shuttle(s).

The First Way – If you don’t qualify for any of the above, but know someone who does, refer them to us. If they tell us you referred them at the time they schedule one of our services, then you will get a discount on your rate also. How’s that for a deal?  ** Ask For Details **

The Second Way – If you still don’t qualify for a listed discount, but would like a discounted shuttle rate anyway, hike during the “off-season”.  We always discount our rates from October thru January.  Late Fall and Winter hiking is more fun than you may realize.  In fact, that’s when we usually hike.   There are far fewer bugs, much less hiker traffic which means more solitude and shelters which are not crowded, the views are much better (not that we have anything against foliage), and the body heat generated while hiking works to your advantage rather than against you.  If you haven’t tried it, perhaps you should do so this year.  You’ll be glad you did.  🙂

Sorry, we do not allow the “stacking” of discounts, i.e. the discounted winter rate plus a discounted employment/student rate.  Also, you can not “stack” referral discounts, however they can be saved up and used on subsequent hikes.  ** Ask For Details **

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Hiker Support

The Hiker Support portion of Appalachian Services was established in 2001.  Our primary service area is from the Atlanta, GA airport (ATL) to Damascus, VA, however our full range of service is from Jacksonville and/or Daytona Beach, FL to Harper’s Ferry, WV.  We also provide service to/from other locations of equal distance (approximately 575 miles) from the Cherokee, NC entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

We provide a wide range of support options to hikers such as shuttles to/from major airports or bus/train stations, re-supply at major road crossings, and vehicle relocations designed to allow you to hike both away from, and toward, your vehicle.  The vehicle relocations are especially useful for groups of 5 or more such as hiking clubs, church groups, or college/university outings.

Rate quotes are free for the asking.  For an accurate quote please provide us with the planned start and end points, the approximate date(s) our services would be needed, the number of hikers in your group, and the type of service(s) you are interested in.  We will also help you decide where to hike and/or assist in planning your hike if you are new to backpacking.

For more information or to schedule a hiker shuttle please contact us by clicking on the convenient “Contact Us” link at the top of this page.  When emailing please mention something about hiker support in the subject line so our spam filter does not send your inquiry to the “junk mail” box.

Thanks for your interest in our services.

Happy Hiking!  :)

Categories: Appalachian Trail, Backpacking, Hiking, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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